Ephesians (Program #74) -The Spirit and the Church
One of the major changes that takes place in the life of a Christian is in their mind. As unbelievers we were as Paul described in Ephesians 4, darkened in our understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance which was in us and because of the hardness of our heart.
Contrast that to the conditions of the believers that follow in Chapter 5, For you were once darkness but are now light in the Lord, walk as children of light for the fruits of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth. How does this transformation in our minds take place? The answer to this crucial matter is also found in Ephesians.
2 Corinthians (Program #39) – The Minister’s of the New Covenant (12)
The book of 2 Corinthians is the book of the New Testament that’s not that well known, not frequently quoted and not really that well understood. One passage however that is familiar to most believers is found in chapter 6 in verse 14, where Paul tells the Corinthians, “Do not become dissimilarly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?”
It’s good to consider this verse in any context but better is to consider it in the context to which it was delivered to us in the divine revelation.
Here 2 Corinthians chapter 6 is in the context of the New Testament Ministry, the ministry of reconciliation, the ministry where Paul under his commission by the Lord charges the believers in Corinth to be fully reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians (Program #26) – The Ministry of the Spirit as the Life Supply, and of Righteousness as God’s Expression (1)
The Old Testament had one unique ministry beginning with Moses and his receiving and delivering to the children of Israel the law or commandments. The ministry of the law commands and continues until the coming of Christ. But the coming of Christ usher in another ministry, the ministry of the New Covenant. Actually these two are the only ministries spoken of in the Bible.
Acts chapter 1 makes it very clear that not withstanding the current situation, there is a reality of only one ministry. Listen to verse 17 and 25 of Acts chapter 1,
17 “For he was numbered among us and was allotted his portion of this ministry.”
25 “To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”
The ministry of the New Covenant is a very great matter that we dare not take lightly, neither should we take it into our own hand to try to put it into practice.
The prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament was raised up by the Lord during a particularly difficult time in Israel’s history. During the forty one years during Jeremiah’s ministry, Israel was carried away into exile at least three times. Certainly, this negative history is an important part of the book of Jeremiah but there also is a marvelous aspect to this book as it unveils the restoration of Israel as well as God’s tenderheartedness and righteousness in His care for His chosen people even in the midst of their frequent rebellion. And of course, as it’s always the case in this life study of the Bible, we will see Christ revealed in the context of His divine economy today and throughout this new life study of Jeremiah.
Isaiah (Program #34) – The King Reigning in the Tent of David, the Eternal Rock, a Savior
“Then will a throne be established in loving kindness and upon it One will sit in truth in the tent of David, judging and pursuing justice and hastening righteousness.” Surely there was a king ruling from the throne in the tent of David in Old Testament time. Interestingly, the tent of David with its kingly throne reappears in the coming kingdom age. But does the tent of David have to do with us today?
In our human society we typically have a high regard for the wise and the well born among us and conversely we tend to despise even to disregard the poor and the lowly ones. Yet in God salvation there is no room for man to boast in himself. So God in His wisdom renders all our human wisdom mere folly in Christ. Well at the same time He Himself becomes wisdom and strength and status to all those who had been called. Listen to Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians chapter 1
“For consider your calling, brothers, that there are not many wise according to flesh, not many powerful, not many wellborn. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world that He might shame those whoare wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world that He might shame the things that are strong,And the lowborn things of the world and the despised things God has chosen, things which are not, that He might bring to nought the things which are,So that no flesh may boast before God.”
Isaiah (Program #10) – The Judgment of Jehovah Upon the Nations and Its Issue (1)
When God’s people give in to temptation, sin and corruption, God in His righteousness surely must judge and discipline. Of course, as Christians He also has a way to forgive us and lead us back into His loving presence. But ultimately the solution for our continuous failures lies not in renew commitment and more earnest and sincere effort. Rather we need to be fired, terminated and eventually replaced. We all desperately need to see that God’s solution for us is to be replaced. Don’t miss this extraordinary life study of the Bible.
Romans (Program #58) – Righteousness – The Power of the Gospel (2)
Today we come to the matter of righteousness as is related to being sons of God. Righteousness is both the foundation and the way for us to carry out our sonship.
When we think of power related to the gospel, we usually think about God the Spirit moving in a supernatural way. But Romans reveals that the power of the gospel is not God’s Spirit but God’s righteousness. We will see this power on today’s life study.
We saw in the first portion yesterday that righteousness is the foundation of God’s throne and that He had to take care of His righteousness before He can even get to the point of offering us His love and His grace.